Fall is all about football, leaf blowing and trying to carve a better jack-o’-lantern than your neighbor. It’s also a good time to sample pumpkin beers. There’s been a big increase in the style over the past few years so there are plenty to choose from.
Here’s a sampling of what’s out there. Note: The beers were picked randomly, and aren’t listed in any particular order (other than alphabetically).
Hoppin’ Frog Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale: This is one of my new favorites. It’s a nice combination of spice and pumpkin flavor that’s not too sweet and is slightly warming, due to an 8.4 percent ABV.
Lakefront Pumpkin Lager: Lakefront Pumpkin holds a special place in my beer drinking heart, because it’s the first one I ever tried. It’s more subtle than some other options but it still has plenty of nutmeg and pumpkin flavor.
Milwaukee Brewing Sasquash Pumpkin Porter: The first pumpkin porter I’ve ever tried. You’ve got to give MKE Brewing mad props for the style choice. The roasted malt flavor keeps the pumpkin in check. Sasquash makes the list for the top five best-named beers.
Sixpoint Autumnation: A pumpkin beer perfect for the hop heads. Sure there’s a hint of pumpkin in Autumnation, but there’s a lot more hop bitterness going on.
Southern Tier Pumking: Pumking is (a slightly boozy) pumpkin pie in a bottle. It’s a sweeter beer with a spicy sweet aroma and pumpkin flavor that hides an 8.8 percent ABV. There’s even a hint of pie crust in each sip.
Tyranena Painted Ladies Pumpkin Spice Ale: Pumpkin flavor is prevalent with Tyranena’s offering. The drinkable beer isn’t overly sweet, which is a good thing.
The Beer Fridge
Milwaukee entrepreneur John Lavelle is hoping to create the ultimate beer website with TheBeerFridge.com. The site, which is in the final stages of development, promises to be more intuitive than similar options of the Web. TBF’s beer ratings use an algorithm that matches up with your taste profile, promise to have a better recommendation process for beers that you may like, and has an integral beer finder to help you find the tasty brews you’re looking for and send you a notification the minute a seasonal or rare beer goes on tap. At first glance, The Beer Fridge appears to be a mix of several popular existing beer apps and an improvement on many of them. I’ll let you know when the site launches and we can all try it for ourselves. Lavell, who created the popular Milwaukee Best of Beer Dinner series, is a Milwaukee native and a Marquette grad. I’m rooting for him and The Beer Fridge.
I stopped in at Rumpus Room (1030 N. Water St.) last week. Good beer, good food and good service. That place never disappoints.
Monday, Oct. 29: Triskele’s (1801 S. 3rd St.) hosts a Midwest Regional Beer Dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. For $50 diners can indulge on a five course dinner paired with craft beer. Call 837-5950 for more information.
Friday, Nov. 2: Leinenkugel’s hands out samples of the new Snow Drift Vanilla Porter, Honey Weiss and Lemon Berry Shandy from 4-7 p.m. at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.).
Saturday, Nov. 3: Try Blue Moon’s Abbey Ale at Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 3-4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3: Wisconsin beers are being sampled from 1-4 p.m. at Three Cellars (7133 S. 76th St.).
Sunday, Nov. 4: "Beer Church" is in session at John Hawks Pub (100 E. Wisconsin Ave.) starting at 4 p.m. Pumpkin beers and harvest beers are the guests of honor.